UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 04-01-09
SECTION: Control and Assignment
SUBJECT: Off-Campus Conference Facilities
EFFECTIVE DATE: April 26, 1994
This policy applies to all conferences, workshops, meetings, seminars, or other
University-sponsored educational programs open to the public and held at off-campus
locations not owned or operated by the University of Pittsburgh. For purposes of this
policy, an Off-Campus University Conference is one for which the University, or any
school, department, or affiliate thereof, participates actively in planning the facilities.
This policy establishes a procedure for determining that all off-campus facilities used for
such educational events are accessible to individuals with disabilities and in compliance
with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
When contracting for off-campus rental sites for University-sponsored conferences, best
efforts must be used to choose a location which is fully accessible or capable of
accommodation, and meets all applicable ADA criteria.
The University shall inquire as to accessibility of the facilities, or portion thereof, as part
of any initial inquiry into potential rental sites. When negotiating a contract for such a
site, the University will require a certification from the owner of the off-campus site
regarding accessibility of the facilities or any accessibility deficiencies. In determining
accessibility, federal guidelines shall be used as the evaluation criteria.
The University will require the off-campus site owner to provide reasonable
accommodations to any registrant requesting accommodation based on accessibility
deficiencies of the chosen site, if any.
The University conference planner should make best efforts to identify in advance the
need for any auxiliary aids and services which are not a fixture of the off-campus facility
and which may be provided by the conference, such as, but not limited to, large print
materials or assistive listening devices.
Any University personnel, including University faculty, administrators, staff, students, or
their agents who plan off-campus conferences (Off-campus Conference Planner) shall,
as part of the planning process, determine the accessibility of the proposed off-campus
site. See Procedure 04-01-09, Off-Campus Conferences.
University planners shall use best efforts to choose a location which is fully accessible
or which meets all applicable ADA criteria. All other things being equal, preference will
be given to a public accommodation which has in place an implementation plan to
increase accessibility through barrier removal and structural modifications over a period
The Office of Conference Coordination will maintain a list of hotels, conference centers,
and other potential meeting sites, which have provided accessibility information to the
University. The Office of Conference Coordination will request accessibility information
on an annual basis of off-campus meeting facilities frequently used in the Pittsburgh
areas and will advise off-campus sites that certification will be required for any University-
sponsored off-campus educational event. The Office of Conference coordination will
maintain and update any accessibility information provided to it in response to these
As part of the initial inquiry of all potential rental sites, University planners shall contact
the Office of Conference Coordination to determine if a current certification is available
for an off-campus site under consideration. For those off-campus sites which have not
provided a current certification to the Office of Conference Coordination within one year
prior to the proposed off-campus educational event, and which are being considered
beyond the initial inquiry state of planning an event, University conference planners must
request certification as part of the evaluation process. See Procedure 04-01-09.
If it is determined by the evaluation process that the selected site has certain accessibility
barriers, the University conference planner, in consultation with Facilities Planning
Division, Facilities Management, or other knowledgeable sources, shall require the
off-campus site to provide reasonable accommodations to any registrant requesting
accommodation, in sufficient time to relocate the conference, if necessary.
The University conference planner, if possible, shall ensure that each contract between
the University and the owner of an off-campus site includes a representation and warranty
of the owner that the entity is in compliance with the public accommodation provisions of
the ADA and shall further contain a clause indemnifying the University (or an affiliated
contracting entity) in the event the University (or the affiliated contracting entity) incurs
any liability or loss arising out of or related to a claim of non-accessibility or claim related
thereto under the ADA.
Registration forms for off-campus conferences shall contain a section on requests for
accommodation of registrants and shall contain the following language:
"We encourage participation by all interested individuals and use best efforts to
choose a location which meets the criteria of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Notwithstanding our best efforts, the program location may not satisfy all of the
federal accessibility standards. If you have a disability, advance notification of any
accommodation will help us better serve you. Inquires concerning accommodations
should be addressed to (name, address, and phone number of University conference
planner) at least two weeks in advance of the date of the conference."
The Office of Conference Coordination will include a copy of this policy and associated
procedure in its conference planning packets.
Requests for variance from this policy shall be directed to the Chancellor and will only
be granted in exceptional circumstances.
Procedure 04-01-09, Off-Campus Conference Facilities